Superman isn’t just a superhero, he’s the superhero — one gifted with more abilities and powers than the next five combined. In “Man
of Steel,” however, Zack Snyder wanted the great-granddaddy of all costumed comic book characters to be relatable to normal old humans, even if he still possessed all of the abilities that make him, well, super.
“I went into the movie trying to say, if we were Superman, how would we react in these situations?” Snyder told MTV News at the film’s recent Los Angeles press day. “Because I always felt in the past Superman has kind of been this unrelatable character — we look at him like a god. And I felt like I understood the ’why’ of Superman … we understood his love of humanity and his morality and then we would ’get’ the grown-up Superman.”
Snyder has spent much of his career thus far deconstructing superhero mythology, creating metatextual portraits of superhuman characters in “300,” “Watchmen” and “Sucker Punch,” where audiences come for the spandex and stay for the subtext. But even after the mixed reception he received for “Sucker Punch,” Snyder insisted that he considers “Man of Steel” to be as personal as any of his other films, even if it’s maybe a little more straightforward than its predecessors.
“I was approached for the very first time after ’300’ and asked if I wanted to do Superman,” he revealed. “I was doing ’Watchmen’ and I thought it was difficult to take a sidestep there — it’s like the opposite in a weird way. But I am a fan of the character, and I felt more after ’Watchmen’ like I was ready to make Superman because I felt like I had broken the rules, and I could fix it.”
Snyder also said that he felt empowered by the guiding hand of “The Dark Knight” director Christopher Nolan, who co-wrote the story and produced the film. “I don’t think Chris knows how to discuss or would want a non-personal movie,” he observed. “And I don’t know how to make a movie that’s not personal — it’s impossible. And I don’t think Chris would ask me to do it if I was going to do it that way.”
“Man of Steel” opens in theaters nationwide June 14.